And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King.
That’s what Beast Boy reckons, anyway, as a tough-talking Tempest arrives from the depths to lead a team of teen heroes reeling from the loss of Nightwing. The Blade of Blüdhaven is out of action after being shot, Earth is being attacked by sea gods from outer space, so who better to step up than the former Teen Titan from the depths of Atlantis?
Only one member from Garth’s time is on this version of the Titans, Donna, but almost everyone likes his plan to forget the Justice League’s orders to evacuate civilians, and get to the nub of the problem.
I’m with Garth, whose attitude to Batman is a breath of fresh air – the League have to stop treating the Titans as idiots. Donna is too.
The attack that follows is lots of fun, showcasing what this version of the Titans can do. As a huge fan or Tempest, it’s great to see him step in for Dick, and better still that there’s no fake drama with Donna insisting she’s leader. She knows her friend, he knows water-based threats… they’re a team. Garth is on great form, his dialogue slightly more formal than in the past, and his personality peppered with a spot of OUTRAGEOUS TV Aquaman. Impressively inspirational, I hope he sticks around.
As well as spotlighting Tempest’s power and personality, writer Dan Abnett’s decision to have Donna narrate gives us a focus on her too; she’s not so much the angry gal as she has been of late, the one as likely to reach for a drink as her sword. I do like her reminiscing on Titans teams past.
I’m less keen on her propensity to slash first, ask questions never… that green blood belongs to blameless humans transformed by the invading aliens. Not cool.
Donna tells Garth of Roy’s death at the superhero Sanctuary, while still not briefing the other members, which makes sense only if you’re in a melodrama. Happily, she is, so we can enjoy the fireworks later. I’m hugely puzzled, though, that Titans continues to acknowledge Roy’s death but there’s been no mention of Wally’s supposedly simultaneous demise… have Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman not actually told people?
Reporter-cum-scientist Ben Rubel, the Titans’ answer to Snapper Carr, is absent this time – maybe he’s off looking for his friendship with Supergirl?
The crossover with the Justice League/Aquaman story Drowned Earth is nicely done, definitely connected, but not vital; if you don’t wish to follow the editor’s notes and buy more comics, this is pretty much self-contained.
The visuals by illustrator Clayton Henry and colourist Marcelo Maiolo are choice – the storytelling is strong (notice Garth’s moving eyes in the second discussion image, above), emotions are high, the colours exciting… it’s a shame the enjoyable fortnightly schedule means we can’t have a regular art team, because these chaps would be spiffy. a shout-out, too, to Dave Sharpe for some snazzy lettering.
DC spoils us with two brilliant covers, a narrative image straight out of the Golden Age of Pulp mags by Leonardo Manco, and a poster picture by Friend of Tempest Phil Jimenez, with colours by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
All in all, Titans #28 is another enjoyable issue, Abnett is exemplary at team dynamics and I look forward to seeing where the book goes next.